Wine Glass With Red Wine

Diabetes, Panic Attacks, and the Unpredictable Wine Adventure

People Holding Wine Glasses

It’s been a minute since I’ve had a full-blown panic attack, and let me tell you, they’re the sneakiest little critters. I’ve never been prone to panic attacks, but sometime in my mid-30s, they started to rear their heads at the most unexpected times. Is it because of my diabetes, or is it just a reminder of how unpredictable life can be? Well, this one came complimentary during a recent adventure with my sister and niece.

The ‘Simple’ Wine Plan

I had plans to hit up a winery with my sister and niece.

Our plans can sometimes change more often than the weather as we coordinate childcare and dinner plans for our families so we can have a night out. 

Our initial vision was a swift visit to a winery just a stone’s throw away from my place – a 20-minute drive, but last minute those plans went out the window. Suddenly, we’re on a grand adventure to a winery an hour away. It was like my anxiety saw an all-you-can-eat buffet and went wild.

Panic Stations and Packed Bags

Now, why did this give me the heebie-jeebies? Well, it turned my simple plan into a military operation—no more quick trips. Now we’re talking about an hour’s drive, with an unpredictable schedule. So, I’m now packing insulin, extra supplies, and more, all while juggling three kids who have needs of their own.

As I hopped into the car with my sister and her younger kiddos, my heart started to race, I felt nauseous, and I was ready to burst into tears. I took a deep breath, had a little chat with myself, and reminded myself that, hey, this is temporary. I’m prepared, and I’m just an hour away from home, worst-case scenario.

Flip Flops on a Sand

The Good Old Days and the ‘New Normal’

I couldn’t help but reminisce about the good old college days. Back then, my roommate and I could decide on a whim to hit the beach three hours away. Bikinis on, we’d hop in the car, have a blast, grab dinner, and drive back home. Simplicity at its finest. But life ain’t that easy anymore. I’m grateful for my diabetes-free 20s, but it’s a whole new ballgame now.

Anxiety Over the Little Things

Why did this change in plans trigger a panic attack? It’s all about the details. Would there be a marathon of walking? Any crazy physical activity that would mess with my blood sugar? I was dressed for day drinking at the winery, but suddenly, I had to carry a backpack packed with supplies. Minimalist? Not anymore.

I love to dance. Would this adventure now involve a dance floor? But here’s the kicker – alcohol and blood sugar don’t always play nice. Imagine dancing or even just strolling around while sipping on a glass of wine. It’s like diabetes playing a cosmic prank on you. Some alcohols bring down my blood sugar and some make it go up. All physical activity brings down my blood sugar. So a lot of walking, dancing, and shopping, can make it drop unexpectedly, and feeling tipsy with a side of low blood sugar is a bit dangerous. I have to stay alert. 

A Toast to Coping and Support

Despite my need to always know the details of our plan and my risk of panic attacks, I’m eternally grateful for my family’s support and understanding. 

Navigating life with diabetes isn’t a walk in the park, but with ingenious support and a few coping strategies, we can still savor the sweetness of life.

Me | My Niece | My Sister

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